Washingtonpost.com - Apple is slashing prices for battery replacements after saying it slowed down older iPhones to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue. (Reuters)

Apple says sorry after outcry over slowed iPhones

Rarely is tech advice this cut and dried: If you bought an iPhone in 2016 or earlier, make an appointment at a Genius Bar as soon as possible. Apple just started a program that can make old iPhones feel new again — for just $29.

An Apple store or repair shop will pop the hood of your iPhone 6, 6s, SE or 7 and swap out the battery. Like a jalopy after a Jiffy Lube, a three-year-old iPhone with a fresh battery will not only run longer, chances are it will also run faster.

Just hurry up and do it. When I showed up with an appointment at my closest Apple store on Jan. 3, there were so many others also trying to replace their batteries that I had to join a weeks-long waiting list. Your local shop might have more supply, but battling hordes for repair (rather than a sexy new phone) is an unusual experience at an Apple store

What’s the big deal? Apple shaved $50 off its standard battery fee in an extraordinary — but limited-time — effort to get back in our good graces. It got caught in December slowing iPhones with worn-out batteries — a move, it says, that keeps the phones from unexpectedly shutting down. If you always suspected your old iPhone was getting slower, you were right.

But now there’s a fix. While most of us were in a holiday last week, Apple published a mea culpa and promised to make replacing the battery on an iPhone less expensive through the end of 2018. It made the move, it said, “to address our customers’ concerns, to recognize their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.” On Dec. 30, Apple said it would begin honoring a $29 price immediately.

[Could Apple’s battery program encourage people to upgrade less often?]

This is going to cost Apple a lot more than just overtime at the Genius Bar. Once your phone get a fresh battery and the processor kicks back to 100 percent, there’s a chance you might not feel the need to upgrade your iPhone for a while. One analyst, Mark Moskowitz of Barclays, expects the battery offer could cause Apple to sell 16 million fewer new iPhones. (And you definitely shouldn't buy a phone you don't need; here’s my advice on whether you should upgrade to this year’s iPhone 8 and X.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/01/04/run-dont-walk-to-replace-your-iphone-battery-for-29/?utm_term=.30c4fe191568

Still, inexpensive battery replacement is the right thing for Apple to do. A good reputation is its best selling point in an era where smartphone features are reaching parity. Battery life is most people’s No. 1 complaint about their phones, and maintenance is a long-overdue part to smartphone ownership. When Apple makes repairing phones as easy as buying new ones, it saves us money and it’s better for the environment.

YOUR REACTION?

Facebook Conversations